Orange County’s weekly COVID-19 averages continued a marked declined Tuesday as hospitalizations remained relatively flat.
Weekly averages, released on Tuesdays, showed that the county’s weekly case rate per 100,000 residents improved from 15.3 last week to 11.3, while the positivity rate fell from 4.7% to 3.7%.
The county’s Health Equity Quartile positivity rate — which measures progress in low-income communities — dropped from 5.1% to 4.2%.
The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals ticked up from 309 Monday to 311, with the number of patients in intensive care falling from 100 to 95, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
The county has 21.3% of its ICU beds available and 65% of its ventilators.
“All indicators are showing continued, steady decreases and that’s positive,” Orange County CEO Frank Kim said Monday.
It appears the county dodged a Labor Day-fueled surge, Kim said.
“It looks like we got through it,” he said.
Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist and UC Irvine professor of population health and disease prevention, agreed.
“I think we’re out of the woods on Labor Day,” Noymer told City News Service on Monday, adding that the latest statistics “look fantastic.”
Hospitalizations are “just above the levels seen in late July so we’re really turning back the clock, and I mean that in a good way,” Noymer said.
The county logged three more fatalities Tuesday, all of which occurred this month. The September death toll rose to 27. The cumulative death toll is 5,355.
The death toll for August stands at 135. That’s a stark contract with the rest of the summer. The death toll for July was 22, with 18 in June, 23 in May, 45 in April, 199 in March, 615 in February, 1,579 in January — the deadliest month of the pandemic — and 975 in December, the next deadliest.
The OCHCA also reported 433 new infections Tuesday, raising the cumulative total to 294,308 since the pandemic began.
The number of fully vaccinated residents in the county increased from 2,043,693 the previous week to 2,069,128 as of last Thursday.
That number includes an increase from 1,908,595 to 1,932,614 of residents who have received the two-dose regimen of vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna. The number of residents receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine increased from 135,098 to 136,514.
There are 220,138 residents who have received one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
The county’s case rate for fully vaccinated residents as of Sept. 11, the latest figures available, was 4 per 100,000, but 22.9 per 100,000 for the unvaccinated.